President Donald Trump’s cap of 50,000 refugees allowed into the U.S. for 2017 is likely to be hit within the next week or so, Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Tuesday.
Trump capped the number at 50,000 in a March executive order attempting to ban travel from six terror-rife countries to the U.S. Trump’s cap marked a significant decline from former President Barack Obama’s intended target of 110,000 refugees for fiscal year 2017.
“We are somewhere near 49,000,” Nauert said Tuesday. Nauert clarified that refugees who hold a “bona fide relationship to the U.S.” will be unaffected by the administration’s 50,000 cap. The clarification follows a Supreme Court stay of a 9th circuit block of Trump’s March executive order that largely re-implemented the administration’s intended travel ban.
The ban applies to foreign nationals from Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. The Court’s unanimous stay of the 9th circuit court decision specified that foreign nationals who hold a “bona fide relationship to any U.S. person or entity” will be allowed to travel to the U.S. Per Nauert’s statement, this guidance will apply to potential refugees from any of these countries.
The State Department and U.S. government currently have no official definition for bona fide relationship and must come to a consensus by Thursday, per the Court’s order. The definition will be formulated by the Department of Justice in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, Nauert said.
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